Back-to-back civil wars (1989-2003) and the Ebola crisis (2014-16) have stunted growth and left Liberia among the world's poorest nations, while entrenched corruption has not been rooted out by the Sirleaf administration.

Dash Gamu, a teenage motorcycle taxi rider, said he would be voting for Weah but was not familiar with his vice-presidential pick Jewel Howard-Taylor, the ex-wife of Liberian warlord Charles Taylor.

"He is the chosen one for this nation," he said.

Weah consistently captured the youth vote when he ran for president in 2005 and vice-president in 2011, but Cummings has made inroads into his support.

A fifth of Liberia's registered voters are aged 18-22 and are less likely, analysts say, to vote along ethnic lines or to support candidates like Prince Johnson, a former rebel leader who maintains a strong following in northeastern Nimba county.


Regardless of the result of Tuesday's election, the international community is keen to see Liberia's history of coups, assassinations and exiled dictators shift to a more stable footing after 12 years of peace under Sirleaf.

The election has been largely peaceful and the National Elections Commission expects the same on voting day, NEC spokesman Henry Flomo said.

Liberia's police and army are overseeing election security for the first time since the civil war following a handover from UN peacekeepers last year, and though underfunded have kept the peace during the campaign.

Electoral observers from regional body ECOWAS, the African Union, the European Union and the United States will all oversee the process.

One lingering concern is the pre-emptive victory declarations made by some parties, with Weah's team calling his final rally a "victory march" and Cummings proclaiming there would be no second round.

"We all must respect the outcome of the election as declared by the National Elections Commission," Sirleaf warned in her speech on Monday.

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